Can you tell us a little about your background in hair dressing? Where you are now at Hepburn Hair Project and your journey to being a curl stylist?
I started my career in hairdressing quite late in life. I was 26 when I decided to change my career from catering to hair. Although I loved cooking, I felt there was not enough room for me to be as creative as I would have liked. Working in the hair industry had always been in my mind, from being at school so I took up the challenge of going back to college as an adult.I loved it and have loved every moment since.
I sought out a placement at a salon to go alongside my college course as I knew that I learn better by doing. I started as a junior, doing all the basic jobs, watching what other stylists did and trying techniques when I could.
Luckily my passion for hairdressing was recognised and I was fortunate enough to gain a job in the same salon. I was at this salon for 12 years and never stopped learning.
After 12 years I was offered a fantastic opportunity to manage a new salon with Seamus McCrory, being involved from its start. This was the start of my journey with The Hepburn Hair Project. Here, I was given more opportunities to develop myself and the biggest and most exciting thing that has come as a result of this is my new interest and passion for curly styling.
Generally in Manchester I have found that there is very little time spent on curly hair in salons and there is still a fear from many stylists when taking on curly hair.
I feel incredibly fortunate that I fell into working with curly hair.
My journey to being a curly stylist began with my first curly client. She had come into the salon looking for curly hair cut. I realised that to see the shape of what she wanted and how her curls would fall, I needed to cut her hair dry. This is the moment I saw cutting curly hair as an art form, not following the rules of standard hairdressing. This is all about shape and form. Some people have said that my dyslexia has allowed me to see hair in shapes, in a way that other stylists can’t. I just know that I listened to my client and understood how to help her get what she wanted. She opened up my eyes to the worlds of curly hair.
The review she gave me snowballed curly referrals and someone made an off the cuff remark that I was ‘Vicky , Queen of Curls’ and this has stayed with me.
Cutting curls came naturally, but my research into the curly world has led to another level of education. I found curly techniques, curly forums and curly products and thankfully discovered Trepadora. I am still learning every day and I love what I do, I enjoy how everyday is exciting and different! I have now been cutting curls for over 4 years with 90% of my clientele now being curlies. Moving forward The Hepburn Hair Project will be rebranding soon to McCrory Hair and this will link us with our sister salon in Chorlton.
What can your clients expect when they come in and see you for the first time?
When a client comes through the door they can expect a warm welcome in a relaxed environment.
We have a great team of skilled and passionate stylists who create the positive and happy energy in the salon.
When I meet a new client, I spend time with them getting to know them, their curls and their routine. We talk about what they are looking for from the appointment and I work with them to make sure it is something we can achieve and will work well with their lifestyle.
I will walk them through what I am doing and explain about the products I use and why I use them.
I appreciate that I have range of clientele, some are seasoned curlies and some are relatively knew to embracing their curls. I share all the tips that I pick up from my seasoned curlies and the research I do to make sure that they can all maintain their curls.
As a standard there is always a hot tea or coffee waiting in the wings with my curly junior, Nathan.
Is there one curl transformation that you have done which really stands out for you?
I have thought about this question a lot and there are really too many to mention. What I can say is that what makes curly moments special is when a client shows relief that they have found someone who understands curly hair and they leave the salon happy with renewed confidence in their curls.
If I had to chose one transformation though it would be a new client who came in for a trim. She was very nervous and protective of her curls. At this first appointment she only wanted the ends of her hair taken off. I spoke to her and explained the difference she would feel if I could change the shape of her hair, and I guided her through what I would do and how she would see the difference. I did this to try to reduce her initial trepidation. She agreed to this and whilst I was carrying out the cut I spoke to her about the difficulties she may be having with her curls due to her hair being over processed and how I could help with this. I also suggested to her a restyle that may have suited her better due to her face shape and her curl type.
My client returned with her confidence in her curly hair increased. She felt so confident at this next appointment that we carried out the restyle from having long hair up to her shoulders and I was thrilled to see her leave the salon excited and happy!
What are your favourite products to use on your clients? Can you give us an insight in how you use them for particular curl types? Any top tips?
My all time favourite product is the Trepadora Avocado Kokum Curl Defining Smoothie which I use as a finishing product, especially for fine curly hair. I find that a lot of the products on the market can be quite heavy and this product gives definition without the weight, helping curls keep their natural shape and bounce.
My top tip would be to any new curlies. Be Patient. Don’t become overwhelmed when you enter the curly world and see everything that is out there.
I would also say if you don’t have a curly hair towel, scrunch your wet hair with a few pieces of a kitchen roll. This will soak up the water, but keep in the moisture. It works a treat and when we do this in the salon we get great feedback.
Hairdressers Manchester The Hepburn Hair Project
Highly skilled and experienced Hairdressers Manchester. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Call today to book an appointment or a 6 month 20% discount code 0161 273 3330
@thehepburnhairproject – which will be changing soon to @mccroryhair